Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert may have a few years left on his contract and is meeting expectations in terms of performance, but now his name has come up for potential trading.
That's because although the Pacers have a 4-7 record so far this season, along with Hibbert averaging at least 14 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks per game according to a Travelers Today report, the team has fallen far from being one of the best in the Eastern Conference. In addition to the losses of Paul George and Lance Stephenson, Lauren Moranor of Sports World Report notes that both Hibbert and the Pacers plan to part ways sometime later this season.
"Hibbert has two years remaining on his contract, but the Pacers will have no issues trading that away considering how talented the center can be," Moranor wrote. "The second year of Hibbert's contract is a player option which he is reportedly not keen on exercising so instead of losing the elite center for nothing in return, a mid-season trade could be the ideal move."
Whether or not the Pacers end up trading Hibbert will depend on how they perform this season. According to Moranor, if the team beats expectations and becomes a contender in the postseason, Hibbert might continue staying in Indianapolis for now as opposed to being traded immediately.
"Hibbert would be an expensive trade for any team, especially in the middle of the season, but any contending team will make a move for him," Moranor wrote.
According to Moranor, the teams that are most likely interested in a Hibbert trade include the Cleveland Cavaliers, Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors. However, Travelers Today suggests that although the New York Knicks could express interest for him, the All-Star center might be an ideal fit with the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Reggie Jackson.
"For some analysts, trading Hibbert to the Thunder in exchange for Jackson should happen right now, before other teams make their bids," Travelers Today wrote. "The Pacers have been looking for a young point guard that can make plays both for himself and his teammates."
Even the Phoenix Suns want to get Hibbert on their team. They have previously put up point guard Goran Dragic in exchange for the trade, but Travelers Today reports that the deal fell through after the Suns became unsure of how Hibbert would bounce back from last season's epic collapse.
Regardless of where Hibbert ends up, it's clear that any trade decision from the Pacers would depend on his performance on the basketball court.